Thanksgiving Week is upon us at last. Tis the season to wrestle your way through the airport, fight with your siblings, and stuff your face with, well, stuffing, among other delicious delicacies. Once the big meal has finally been prepared, served, and devoured, change into some sweats and collapse onto the couch for three Thanksgiving-themed flicks that are sure to help you pass that pesky time in between eating and eating again, later that night.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
This Thanksgiving classic is John Hughes’ first foray into films starring adults as opposed to teenagers. It’s also arguably the most beloved Thanksgiving movie of all time. In case you haven’t seen it, Steve Martin is hilarious as Neal Page, an uptight but all-around good guy who just wants to get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner with his family. Cue John Candy as Del Griffith, shower-curtain-ring-salesman of poor Neal’s nightmares, who, wouldn’t you know it, ends up along for the ride. While this quintessential 80s comedy is undeniably slapsticky and more than a bit silly, it’s also smart and surprisingly emotionally poignant.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
This family-friendly Thanksgiving charmer is one of my favorites. It’s on TV every year around this time, so be sure to set your DVRs. The sweet little story involves Peppermint Patty and her friends inviting themselves over to Charlie Brown’s for the big meal. When Charlie attempts to throw together a feast to please her, the results are less than satisfactory. Of course, at the end of the day, everybody learns a little something about what it means to be thankful. Be sure to have some popcorn and jelly beans on hand in case you want to eat along.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is this low-budget horror gem. Apologies, but I had to include this admittedly horrific (in every sense of the word) independent “film” for those of you seeking something a little less saccharine for your post-meal enjoyment. This movie will especially appeal to those of you who lace your pumpkin pie with something a little bit stronger than, say, cinnamon. The plot, and I use that word very loosely, centers around a weapon-toting, fourth-wall-breaking, homicidal turkey on a college-student slaughter spree over Thanksgiving break. I mean, what’s not to like about a movie whose official website instructs you to “laugh at it because it’s bad.” Note: as you can probably surmise from the poster, this is one to watch after the babies and grandparents are long since asleep.
Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving is not a holiday replete with accompanying movies. There are, of course, many that I didn’t mention, which isn’t to say that films like Home for the Holidays, Pieces of April, or The Ice Storm are any less worthy of your dedicated digestion (heh heh). Not to mention the hilarious (and now somewhat nostalgic) Thanksgiving episodes of shows like Friends and Gilmore Girls.
What are the movies and TV shows you like to watch every year?